In August I gave you 10 Summertime Ways to Drink to Your Health. Well, it’s about to turn December, and while you certainly can continue with those through the winter, on a cold dark day like today, you might want something warmer.
Okay, it’s not really that cold at all today, but the days are short and winter’s approaching, so it’s time for HOT CHOCOLATE! Here’s how to prepare it in a way that’s simple, delicious and good for you too.
If you follow the recipes on this site, you may have noticed that I’m partial to chocolate. It’s true. And why not? After all, good quality chocolate is full of phytonutrients and if you get 70% cocoa or above, it actually qualifies as a low-glycemic food rather than a candy. Just keep it below 5 grams of sugar total. Isn’t that good news?
Want even better news? While 100% cocoa and high content chocolate are healthy, raw organic cocoa actually has therapeutic benefits. Many of the touted benefits of chocolate are destroyed by cooking, processing and refining it. And of course, most commercial products are more sugar (or corn syrup) than chocolate anyhow, or they’re sweetened with artificial sweeteners. Yuck! You can make tasty hot cocoa that’s good for you, in just minutes with my recipe below.
Cocoa is rich in flavanoids, known to reduce the risk of heart disease, and in anti-oxidants. That feeling of contentment you feel after eating chocolate? That might be the tryptophan, which helps the body produce serotonin, or its calming magnesium. Cocoa also contains oleic acid, a monosaturated fat which helps improve “good” cholesterol. Some studies have shown that cocoa can improve insulin sensitivity, and lower blood sugar. And epicatechin, found in cocoa, grapes and green tea, may slow the build up of plaque that causes Alzheimer’s Disease.
Just keep in mind that these benefits are characteristic of raw organic cocoa, and not processed products with lots of dairy and sugar.
Isn’t it delightful to know that something so delicious is virtuous, too?
Healthy Hot Cocoa
Fill a mug with half unsweetened coconut milk and half water. Pour in a small saucepan. Add 1 heaping teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder (ideally, raw and organic, which you can get from me, or from UpgradedSelf – link to right ==>). Add xylitol or stevia to taste, the tiniest pinch of salt, a little vanilla if you’re so inclined. Whisk and bring to a simmer. Like yours with cinnamon? It’s good for the metabolism! Enjoy!
Or if you are as lazy as I am, just mix everything right in your mug. Boil water, add that too, and then just add a big dollop of coconut cream from a full fat can of organic coconut milk. Delish!
Want another warming alternative? Another of my favorite healthy beverage treats is Dandy Blend. Clients mentioned this to me for years, and it always checked out as very healthy, but I never tasted it until my good friend Marilyn brought some over for me. It’s delicious! It is brewed like instant coffee, and actually works quite well as a coffee substitute. No caffeine, alkalinizing rather than acidic, some nutrient value, too. I make it the way I make my Bulletproof coffee, which makes it so creamy and satisfying. Or I add a spoonful of organic canned full-fat coconut milk for this, rather than the refrigerated half gallon containers I use for shakes. Did you know coconut milk, and coconut oil, contain both very healthy fat, and monolaurin, which is an anti-microbial and particularly helpful against viruses. So you can feel virtuous sipping your hot chocolate and Dandy Blend, and boosting your immune system at the same time.
I sell Bulletproof chocolate powder and DandyBlend in the office. Just let me know if you want some!